Jiggery pokery from facebook

Farcebook is having a tough time of it lately.


I’m sure most of you will have been warned this week about how to sort out your privacy settings so you don’t randomly find yourself in an ad for gonorrhea
and/or Lonely Hearts Swindon.
But in case you missed it – here was the story. An American user found a
photo of his wife in an advertisement for a dating site. The ad was sent to
Peter Smith, from Virginia US, while he was browsing his facebook account.  It read “Hey Peter, hot singles are
waiting for you!” adjacent to a picture of his wife.

 

It appeared that a facebook advertiser had lifted the photo of his wife, Cheryl, from her profile without her permission. She had failed to switch off a facebook setting that allows the
company to use a member’s pictures in ads sent to their friends. An embarrassed
facebook removed the ad and issued a statement distancing itself from the
practice of lifting photos without consent.

Read her blog entry on the
matter here (and discover how to prevent yourself being used in dating ads
). And see the official facebook statement here.

 

So why do people keep getting their knickers in a twist over their privacy policy? It’s probably something to do with their small print being utterly incomprehensible.

 

This reminds me of a funny thing I saw a while back where an agency had a go at ‘translating’ the changes
in terms and conditions of farcebook, to quite comedic results.

 

They took one sample sentence which we’re meant to read before clicking ‘accept’.

 

‘By posting User Content
to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant
that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual,
non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to
sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat,
translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for
any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with
the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or
incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses
of the foregoing.’

And they translated it.

 

‘If you post any content (that’s photos, wall posts, songs, videos, status updates and notes) on this site, you give us (Facebook) the right to:

 

• copy it

• use it in public

• reformat it

• translate it

• use excerpts from it.

 

So the content has to be
yours, or you must have the right to use it.

 

We can also use your
content to advertise or promote Facebook. And we can grant other people a
licence to use your content to advertise or promote Facebook, too.’

 

In short, if you can’t say something in plain English, don’t say it at all.

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